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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Aid cuts undermine French COP 21 position

Cuts to the French development aid budget - the fifhtt in a row – are jeopardising its COP 21 commitments. For Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, "It is unacceptable that certain member states are reducing their aid to developing countries." Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament also reminded EU members of their commitment to assign 0.7% of their gross national product (GNI) to official development assistance. Despite recently enshrining this target in law, France is as far as ever from achieving it: French ODA fell from 0.47% of GNI in 2005 to 0.36%. Recently however, French President François Hollande first called on OECD members to increase their ODA contributions at an address in Martinique on 9 May: "I have warned the rich countries. I told them: if you do not find the finances for the poorest and most fragile countries, they will not follow you." NGOs have repeatedly warned of the image problem that this contradiction will cause for the COP 21. According to Laurence Tubiana, France's lead negotiator for the conference, "this should be a real cause for concern for Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius and Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal. France should assume its development aid responsibilities, this would send out a strong message."

Source: euractiv.com